Eagles roll into semifinals
BY ASHLEY TEATUM
SLATINGTON – Just once Mountain View gave up the lead to Greenwood on Saturday.
But the Eagles’ offense more than made up for an early deficit to put them in the state semifinals for the second time in school history.
Colby Thomas scored twice and Dylan Thomas and Zeb Cross each had a goal and an assist as Mountain View defeated Greenwood, 5-2, in a PIAA Class A boys soccer quarterfinal at Northern Lehigh High School’s Bulldog Stadium.
The Eagles (16-0), who were also state semifinalists in 2006, advance to face District 1 champion New Hope-Solebury in the semifinals Tuesday. New Hope-Solebury defeated Trinity, 2-0, in another quarterfinal.
If the Eagles win, they advance to the championship on Friday at Hershey Stadium at 7:30 p.m. to face the winner of a game between Biglerville and Sewickley Academy.
“We really needed to work hard today and we needed go out and do what we usually do,” said Nick Jarrow, who scored the Eagles’ final goal. “Since we were here the last two years I was extremely nervous.
“I wanted to go in and play my best and I wanted the team to play its best, too. We did great today, I’m proud of them.”
Seven minutes into the game, Greenwood’s leading scorer Josh Ferguson put the Wildcats up, 1-0.
But five minutes later, after the Eagles cleared a Greenwood throw-in past midfield, Cross lofted a ball in front of a sprinting Colby Thomas, who beat three defenders and goalkeeper Ryan Kerstetter for the equalizer, 1-1.
Later, Dylan Thomas found the ball in the box to score off a throw-in from Nate Goodenough for Mountain View’s go-ahead goal.
Colby and Dylan connected in the 38th minute to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead at halftime.
“They were playing the lines very well,” said Mountain View keeper Bobby Pfahl, who finished with five saves. “The crosses, the clears – it’s better than I’ve ever seen them do before.”
Greenwood’s Hunter Roth opened the second-half scoring, but the Eagles refused to let up the gas. The Wildcats marked up Colby Thomas and Cross, forcing Mountain View to shift its players.
Noah Pepper and Austin Mack took charge of the front line, while Colby Thomas moved into the midfield.
“They knew Colby was a strong player, and he’s always been the key to our offense, him and Zeb,” Mack said. “But when they marked them, we just tried to play outside wider. We were doing beautiful passes and everyone was just moving.
“The main part that we try to do is keep possession. The more possession you have, the less chance you have of being scored on. We tried to do that and it worked out.”
After a handball call in the box, Cross sunk a penalty kick that gave the Eagles a 4-2 advantage.
But as the game wore on, players continued to run hard to the ball and contact between opponents made for an intense atmopshere.
With 10 minutes left to play, a trip was called against Mountain View, and after the call, an Eagles player and a Wildcat began to exchange words and shoves.
Officials called time on the field and issued several yellow cards to warn the players of their actions.
“It was really tense,” Jarrow said. “They were playing hard and really physical and we were just trying to hold them back with the last few seconds and come away with the win.”